GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4) — Police in Greeley say a 2-year-old boy has died after allegedly being abused by his mother’s boyfriend.

Police were called to the boy’s home in the Friendly Village Mobile Home Park Monday afternoon after paramedics responded and reported he wasn’t responsive and wasn’t breathing. He was originally taken to the North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley but was eventually flown to Children’s Hospital in Aurora.

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John White (credit: CBS)

John White (credit: CBS)

Police say John Melvin White, 33, had recently moved into the home and was watching the boy, Michael Lara, at the time. White is being held in jail on suspicion of child abuse after police say it appeared Lara had been beaten.

“There were some injuries, various injuries on this child, although there was nothing to indicate what was the cause of the unconsciousness,” Sgt. Joseph Tymkowych with the Greeley Police Department told CBS4. “They began interviewing both the neighbors who had seen some of this that had happened as well as the male who was in charge of this child that was the boyfriend of the mother.”

Police said White’s story just didn’t add up.

“The story we got from Mr. White just wasn’t adding up … there were holes in his story and there were things that weren’t consistent,” Tymkowych said.

The scene on Monday (credit: CBS)

The scene on Monday (credit: CBS)

Neighbor Jim Pacheco told CBS4 he had previously witnessed White yelling at the child.

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“He’s only 2 years old and no 2-year-olds do anything bad or wrong, they don’t know anything from good or bad really,” Pacheco said.

White appeared in court later in the day on Tuesday. White is also scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.  Records show he has previously been charged with domestic violence.

Police returned to the home and took a young girl, Lara’s sister, who was living there and put her in protective custody while they continue to investigate.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help pay for Michael Lara’s funeral costs.

Additional Information From The Colorado Department Of Human Services

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  • These stories are a constant reminder that there is still work to be done to protect children and help families in Colorado. 
  • Everyone in the community plays a role in preventing child abuse and neglect. 
  • Colorado has a new statewide hotline for reporting suspected child abuse and neglect. The phone # is 1-844-CO-4-KIDS.
  • The hotline provides one easy-to-remember phone number for individuals to use to report suspected child abuse and neglect. All hotline calls are routed to the county where a child resides.
  • The hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

LINK: Child Abuse & Neglect Fact Sheet